Monday, November 17, 2014

"Still going very well"

Well, it's been difficult learning French and it has been pretty frustrating, but my district and I are making our way through. I've been able to speak and read in French really well, but hearing French from the people here and trying to respond when they talk to me is hard because I sometimes have a hard time understanding them due to their accents. But, everything else is still going very well and my district along with my companions help me out a lot.

Life is still going very well here in the MTC, I'm fed super well and I love the food; although, I am starting to miss American food a little bit. I get my clothes washed once a week (sometimes I have to wash my clothes in a bucket). We have PA (physical activity) time every day so I get to play soccer a lot with the African elders which is super fun and I'm acclimating to the humidity fairly well. I haven't gotten sick yet, which is awesome, but I did have a small cold for a couple days last week. Here's something really cool, I got to meet one of the Seventy sometime last week! I'm afraid I forgot his name but it was really neat to meet him and shake his hand.

 As a representative of Jesus Christ, I would encourage you all to continually keep praying and studying the scriptures as frequently as you are able. I know that God loves us and He cares for us very dearly. Never forget how much our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ loves you. Never lose hope and always have trust in Heavenly Father. I know this is a sacred work the Lord has for me to do. Despite how difficult its been, I know God will provide me a way to learn French so I can serve His children here in Africa.

Here are a few chapters in the Book of Mormon that I thought would be great for you all to read: 2 Nephi 31, 3 Nephi 11 and 27.
Avec amour,
Elder Gonzales
P.S. Tell my friends on FB to send me an email or two.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

First P Day

It's only been a few days and me and the other U.S. elders are getting used to the heat; if fact, we actually are starting to like it. The MTC has AC in all the rooms and so it's nice to get some fresh, cool air every now and then, but we usually end up turning it off because we get really cold.

French is coming along really great; over the past few days I've been learning how to make casual conversation, how to pray, and how to teach/testify in French. I can really feel the Spirit working with me and the other elders who are also learning French because when I had to testify to one of our teachers to see how much I've learned so far, the Spirit brought to my rememberance of all sorts of things that I've read in the scriptures in the past. I wasn't even regularly studying the words I said and I was still able to speak the words clearly and with great pronounciation. Tell you what, the Spirit can do some pretty amazing things through us.

I went to the Accra Ghana Temple today and I was able to go through an Endowment session. It was really great, although, I kept dozing off during the session cause the French-speaking African Elders woke me up at 3:30 a.m. this morning as they were getting ready for the day. Usually the Elders get up around 5:00 a.m. before the sun rises at 6:00 a.m., but we were supposed to get up early (for the U.S. Elders) at 5:30 a.m. to go to the temple and come back for lunch, but the others got up extra early and decided to slam the door and yell just like they do every day. Its actually fairly tolerable (except when it's 3:30 in the morning), once you get to know them; besides, ever since I got over the jet lag, I don't even sleep in past 6:00 a.m. anymore.

Accra city is absolutely ridiculous! The place is jam packed with people! Hundreds of merchants stand in the middle of the street during traffic with huge baskets of merchandise on their heads selling said merch while hundreds of other people are walking everywhere else. And if you think Utah driving/traffic is bad, then you haven't seen the worst of it. There are definately cars here, and  everyone drives very aggressively. But despite all the craziness and the weird stares we white boys recieved constantly, we made it to the temple safe and sound and we had a great experience. We were also given three pairs of garments for free at the distribution center across the street from the temple which is SO NICE!!!

Well anyway, I just wanted to let you know that things are going so great over here and I absolutely love it. Learning French can be a bit frusturating at times, but it's all a part of the process. Me and the other six U.S. Elders, along with two African elders are in a study group named "Abinadi" and we are as cheerful and happy as can be. Well, I'm out of time so I've got to go.

Je vous aimez avec tout mon coeur et je prier pour vous tout les jours.

Take care and I hope things are going well for you guys!
Avec amour,
-Elder Gonzales